Blog: Adventure Therapy - Alternatives For Girls

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Blog: Adventure Therapy

Jun. 27 2013

Posted on June 27, 2013 by Sinita

About the blogger: Sinita Williams is a counselor in AFG’s Shelter department. She received her Masters in Social  Work from Wayne State University. While completing her MSW program Sinita  interned at AFG as the Curriculum Coordinator Intern. During her internship, she  was hired as a Program Assistant/Residential Advisor in December 2011. After  completing her MSW program she became the Interim Curriculum Coordinator. Now,  she  works as the Shelter and Transition to Independent Living  Counselor.  

The Shelter Department has just implemented a new program called adventure therapy into their Community Group. The term “adventure therapy” is a fairly new concept but has been proven effective when working with at-risk youth.  Community Group is co-facilitated by me and Counseling Curriculum Coordinator Erika Fox. The group consist of experiential and activity building activities.

Before the start of every group the counselors discuss and review the expectations of the group. Following the expectations the facilitators lead the participants in a series of body stretches to reduce minor injuries.  The format of the group consists of a check-in activity, two main activities, and a check-out activity. A popular check-in activity that is used during group is called “Question Ball Toss” which is tossed in a circle and when caught the participant is asked to answer the question under their left thumb. The check-in activities help the facilitators and other participants recognize where each participant is emotionally.

The two main activities consist of games that focus on healthy coping skills, teamwork, decision making, and communication skills. These activities force some participants out of their comfort zone and force other participants to recognize their leadership skills. During the main activities the facilitators observe the participants’ initiatives and only respond to the participants with thought-provoking questions. These questions force the participants to communicate and strategize effective ideas.

During the check-out activity the facilitators encourage the participants to sit in a circle and reflect on their experiences. During this time participants discuss the challenges and strengths that they encountered during the activities. The facilitators also have the participants connect lessons that they have learned to situations that they face in their daily lives. Erika and I are excited about the new format and have high hopes for the lasting impact that it will have on the shelter participants.

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